“We were like…oop it’s the finale like the end, because there were like a bunch of fireworks shooting really fast, but it wasn’t. It was so weird,” says a child that attended.
Families and friends crowded Evans Towne Center Park to enjoy fireworks and celebrate the Fourth of July.
But that was cut short when fireworks were thrown into the crowd. Many spectators believing they heard gunshots.
“At that time as they were starting to flee that area, someone at some point thought they heard a gun fire or saw gun fire. So they started shouting ‘he’s got a gun’ and some calls started coming into 911 at that time that there was a person actively shooting in the park,” says Captain Butch Askew, Special Operations Division.
The incident took place at the park’s entrance, near the concession stands. It caused a rush of people to crowd that entrance looking for a way out.
“If it is an active shooter situation you don’t have a chance and sit there and think is this for real or not. Unfortunately people are going to react and you’re going to want to clear the area and clear the park. So there was a lot of fear going around,” says Captain Askew.
After further investigation, nothing was found.
“Once we were able to speak to some of the witnesses and found out that they were just fireworks thrown in and we found no evidence of gun shots or shell cases or anything like that,” Captain Butch Askew.
A Facebook post from the sheriff’s office was put out to confirm that there was not a shooting. Many commented under the post to share their anger of a ruined night and the terror in their children’s eyes, but other’s say they were not worried.
“We were there to watch the fireworks and heard to me it sounded like a little popping of some firecrackers, and people start running to our right. so we stood up not to get run over and we stood there to watch more fireworks, because we could tell there was nothing to be afraid of,” says Fran Jagoditsch, who lives in Augusta.